UCLA Gymnastics News: Road Trip, Choreography, and Pac-12 Honors

Vanessa Zamarripa - Chris McGrath

The UCLA gymnastics team improved their record to 3-0 over the weekend. Congratulations to Sophina DeJesus, who was named Pac-12 Freshman of the week for the second time this season. DeJesus tied for first on the balance beam with a 9.875, took second on the uneven bars with a 9.8, and set a career high on the floor with a 9.875. She also had the highest total individual score with a 29.55.

She was also nominated for Gymnast of the Week. Vanessa Zamarripa was nominated for Special Performance of the week. Congratulations again ladies!

DeJesus was also the subject of a piece from the San Diego Union-Tribune, heralding her success as a freshman at UCLA. One thing DeJesus didn't know about herself: she has a wikipedia page. The article discusses her back injury in 2010, suffered on the floor, after a successful 2009 elite season, when she was named to the national team. The injury kept her from competing for the Olympics in 2012, but she has no regrets.

"Everything happens for a reason," DeJesus said. "My goal was to go to the Olympics that one time, but I am super excited to be here at UCLA. It’s another part of my career that I can succeed in."

After her UCLA career, she definitely wants to get back into acting and dancing, and appreciates what UCLA can do for her in that area.

The Daily Bruin also had a nice piece about Coach Val and her unique floor choreography, UCLA's signature event. As Coach Chris Waller (former Olympian and Bruin) put it:

"Our choreography stands out from the crowd because it’s so unique and it comes from a different angle. Val’s background isn’t gymnastics, its dance, and that gives us an edge if the girls can work hard enough to execute it," associate head coach Chris Waller said.

And how does she help the girls infuse a bit of personality in their routines? She gives them a character to act out.

She believes that the inspiration for floor comes from the music and the athlete’s ability to put on a performance. The best way to do that is by giving them a character to act out.

For senior Alyssa Pritchett, that role is Angelina Jolie’s character from the movie "Salt."

"My story for my floor routine is I am a spy, so I try to be sneaky. It’s fun playing a role," Pritchett said.

Finally, to wrap up the news of the week, here's a nice video about UCLA's first road trip of the season to ASU.

Remember: The Bruins compete again Saturday at Stanford at 4pm. It will air live on the Pac-12 Networks. UPDATE: The event will only be streamed live on Pac-12 Networks. The meet against Oregon State will now be aired live.

Go Bruins.

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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